Langa was established as a suburb of Cape Town in 1927 abiding by the terms of the 1923 Urban Areas Act. Langa was designated for Black Africans before the apartheid era. It is the oldest Suburb in Cape Town that was designated to Black Africans, and with its rich history came much resistance to apartheid.
On 21 March 1960 several people were killed during the anti-pass campaign; and on 21 March 2010 a monument was unveiled in remembrance of the people who lost their lives on that day. While Langa means “sun” in Xhosa, the name of Langa is derived from the name of Langalibalele – a chief and renowned rainmaker who in 1873 was imprisoned on Robben Island for rebelling against the Natal government.
Upon his release he was subsequently confined to a farm that is now present day Pinelands. Langa, which adjoins Pinelands, commemorates Langalibalele’s heroism by taking the first part of his name in 1898 when it was developed. Hence, Langa is often called “Kwa-Langa” meaning “place of Langa.”